Yup, More Awards!

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, October 08, 2009 | , | 0 comments »

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, I get to vote for the awards that the group hands out each season.  We vote just like the BBWAA does; for Manager, Rookie, Cy Young and MVP of each league.  Since I cover the Nats, I get to vote for the N.L. awards.

Et voila!  Here are my votes (and admittedly shaky reasoning behind them).


3.  Joe Torre, LAD
2.  Bruce Bochy, SF
1.  Jim Tracy, COL

Let me go on record saying I think the job that managers do is completely overrated.  At best on the positive side, they provide mostly motivation and discipline for their teams.  More appropriately, this award goes to the managers that messed up his team the least. 

All three managers from the West?  Sure, why not.  All three teams overachieved to a certain degree, two of the three teams are in the playoffs, and the third is the next best team.

Colorado was destined to hang out with Washington and Pittsburgh until Clint Hurdle was ousted and replaced -- on an interim basis -- by Jim Tracy.  Whether he was that much better at the X's and O's, or just a better motivator, he got more out of the Rockies than I think should have been expected.


3.  Chris Coghlan, FL  (.321/.390/.460, 9 HR--47 RBI--8 SB)
2.  J.A. Happ, PHI  (12-4, 2.93, 119 K in 166.0 IP)
1.  Tommy Hanson, ATL  (11-4, 2.89 ERA, 116 K in 127.2 IP)

The only rookie pitcher to average a strikeout an inning was DC's Jordan Zimmermann, but Tommy John surgery put an end to his season in August.

But it's hard to argue with Hanson or Happ.  Both were leaned on heavily by playoff contending teams, and both pitched equally as well, with Hanson's K rate just slightly higher. 

Coghlan was recalled by Florida when Emilio Bonifacio was OBPing .285 in May, and be became the sparkplug and table setter the Marlins needed.  And he played out of position in left field most of the season.  If they can get him back in the infield, he's be even more valuable.


3.  Chris Carpenter, STL  (17-4, 2.24 ERA, 144 K in 192.2 IP)
2.  Adam Wainwright, STL  (19-8, 2.63 ERA, 212 K in 233.0 IP)
1.  Tim Lincecum, SF  (15-7, 2.48 ERA, 261 K in 225.1 IP)

There were eight pitchers that qualified this season with an ERA under 3.00 in the NL.  You could really put all the names (above, plus Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw, Javier Vazquez, Matt Cain and J.A. Happ) into a bag, shake them up, pull out three and go with that.

But the three on my ballot were exceptional in many ways.  Carpenter walked just 38 batters all season.  Wainwright led the league in wins and innings pitched and Lincecum was his usual dominant self, striking out 261 in 225 innings.


10.  Andre Ethier, LAD (.272/.361/.508, 31/106/92/6)
9.  Ryan Zimmerman, WAS (.292/.364/.525, 33/106/110/2)
8.  Pablo Sandoval, SF (.330/.387/.556, 25/90/79/5)
7.  Derrick Lee, CHC (.306/.393/.579, 35/111/91/1)
6.  Ryan Braun, MIL (.320/.386/.551, 32/114/113/20)
5.  Prince Fielder, MIL (.299/.412/.602, 46/141/103/2)
4.  Ryan Howard, PHI (.279/.360/.571, 45/141/105/8)
3.  Troy Tulowitzki, COL (.297/.377/.552, 32/92/101/20)
2.  Hanley Ramirez, FL (.342/.410/.543, 24/106/101/27)
1.  Albert Pujols, STL  (.327/.443/.658, 47/135/124/16)

After No. 1, this is really tough.  You look at these guys, and a dozen others with similar numbers, and how do you differentiate?  I feel qualified enough to have Zimmerman make a token appearance at the bottom of my ballot, because I watched him play third base AND half-shortstop all season long.  If you saw Cristian Guzman's range, you'd know what I'm talking about.

But what make one player more valuable than another?  I'm voting on this award using the literal meaning, not necessarily voting for "Best Player" or "Best Offensive Season", which I think are two things totally different than "Most Valuable Player".

Obviously, Albert Pujols is just a different kind of cat.  He walked 115 times (third in N.L.) and still put up his normal outrageous numbers.  Hanley Ramirez led the league in average, was sixth in on base percentage and drove in and scored over 100 runs.  And could you imagine the middle of Colorado's order without Tulo in there?  He shook off his rough 2008 to lead the Rockies back into the playoffs.

There you have them, my picks for the 2009 post-season awards.  Please feel free to leave your picks or critiques of mine in the comments.